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Officials Mark Hispanic Heritage Month during Visit to West Hartford Coffee Shop

Jose Rene Martinez (right) speaks to Attorney General William Tong and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who visited J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Connecticut’s lieutenant governor and attorney general were among those who celebrated J.Réne Coffee Roasters in West Hartford Thursday as a successful Hispanic-owned business.

Jose Rene Martinez of J.Rene Coffee Roasters speaks with state and local officials outside the Park Road coffee shop and roaster. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

By Ted Glanzer

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Attorney General William Tong got a taste, literally, of how the coffee is made at J.Rene Coffee Roasters on Park Road in West Hartford on Thursday.

Bysiewicz and Tong were joined by state Sen. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford; West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor; and Town Councilor Ben Wenograd at the coffee shop to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. J.Réne Coffee Roasters is owned by Jose Rene Martinez, who is also an assistant attorney general.

Martinez walked Bysiewicz and Tong through the shop, showing the officials the shop’s equipment as well as inviting the two to participate in a coffee cupping – where they sampled the tastes and aromas of three different coffees from Sumatra, Panama, and Colombia.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz samples coffee during a “cupping” at J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Tong and Bysiewicz lauded the coffee – and Martinez.

“We’re taking a break to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate Hispanic-owned and run businesses,” Tong said. “We just had our first cupping.”

“The coffee is delicious,” Bysiewicz added.

Cantor, Wenograd, and Slap said they frequent the establishment and have at many meetings at the shop.

From left: State Sen. Derek Slap, Mayor Shari Cantor, and Town Council member Ben Wenograd mark Hispanic Heritage Month at J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“This is essentially my second office,” Slap said. “I absolutely love it.”

J.Réne now has two locations. The original coffee shop and roaster visited Thursday is at 320 Park Road, and a second location recently opened in spaces shared by CookShop Plus at 58 LaSalle Road.

“West Hartford has been great,” Martinez said, crediting state officials for their work.

“We’re super-blessed to do this, especially during this time. … This is not possible without the support of everyone. … It is very important to keep our small businesses rising and successful. It’s not easy work they do. No one is every completely happy, there’s too many things to factor in. But we do appreciate what you do.”

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Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Attoney General William Tong visited J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Jose Rene Martinez with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Attoney General William Tong visited J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Attoney General William Tong visited J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Jose Rene Martinez speaks with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Attorney General Willilam Tong samples coffee during a “cupping” at J.Rene Coffee Roasters. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Pouring coffee for a cupping. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz smells the coffee – the first phase of the “cupping” which is a coffee tasting. She and Attoney General William Tong visited J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Town Council member Ben Wenograd (left) and Attorney General William Tong at J.Rene Coffee Roasters. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Jose Rene Martinez with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

Attorney General William Tong samples the coffee at J.Rene Coffee Roasters. Photo credit: Ted Glanzer

From left: Attorney General William Tong, J.Rene owner Jose Rene Martinez, and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz mark Hispanic Heritage Month at J.Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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